Since March 2003, Hercules Port has been developing new commercial activity with the docking of cruise ships. Previously such ships had little choice but to lie at anchor off Monaco, which limited the movements of cruise passengers, or alongside Quai des Etats-Unis for craft of less than 100 meters.
The Old Town (Monaco-Ville) can be reached via stairs and elevator after a 500-yard walk from the pier. Other sites in Monte Carlo are a distance of 0.5 to 1 mile from the port. Taxis are generally available pier side. Beware Monaco is a hilly place all though there are many elevators and escalators. Make sure to get a map.
On occasion when the dock is fully booked tenders will need to be utilized. If the weather is too rough often the port of Villefranche will be used.
Printable map to take along.
Cruise calendar for this port can be found at the bottom of this page
Rade=you will be tendered
Dique=you will be docked.
Watch a destination video.
With spacious beaches, elegant hotels and a vibrant nightlife, this tiny domain is a favorite haunt of the jet set. In the possession of the Grimaldi family for almost 700 years, a treaty with France guarantees Monaco's independence as long as the principality is governed by the Grimaldis. The fashionable enclave numbers only about 50,000 residents and is smaller than New York's Central Park, but it boasts some of the most expensive real estate in the world. In addition to luxury hotels and beautiful beaches, Monaco is noted for its mild climate and magnificent scenery. Of the principality's four sections - La Condamine, Fontvieille, Monaco-Ville and Monte Carlo, it is the latter two that rank at the top of visitors must-see list.
Most of the sites in Monaco-Ville and Monte Carlo have to be seen on foot, but be warned: It's steep, almost everywhere.
All the glitz and elegance can be experienced at Monte Carlo's ornate Casino. It opens at 12:00 p.m. with the European gaming rooms for Roulette, Trente and Quarante; slot machines are available from 2:00 p.m.; private gaming rooms open at 4:00 p.m. The entrance fee is 10 euros and a passport is required to play. Formal attire required.
This enchanting place should not be missed. Located above Monte Carlo on a steep cliff face, the Jardin Exotique is filled with flowering plants, palm trees and cacti. A winding path zigzags down through the gardens, so be prepared for an energetic climb back to the the exit at the top.
To get to the gardens, walk to the bus stop where the pier joins the main road. Take the No.2 bus (runs every 10 minutes) to Jardin Exotique - it's the final stop. The adult fare is €2 each way. Pay the drive in cash - change will be be given.
Museum National des Automates & Poupees Autrefois
The museum features a compelling collection of 18th- and 19th-century dolls and mechanical figures. It is magically set in a seaside village and is a favorite with many visitors.
Located in Old Monaco, the museum is known for its marine life section that is one of the best in Europe. It is among the projects that were administered by the late Jacques Cousteau.
The Palais Princier (Prince's Palace) is located in old Monaco-Ville and is also a must see. The changing of the guard takes place daily at 11:55 am, so you might want to time your visit for then. There are guided tours of the palace each day and usually run around the clock. While you are there, be sure to take time to walk over and look at the harbors on either side of the palace - the view is marvelous! From the palace you will have a nice view over the port. The palace is guarded by "Carabiniers" and every day at 11.55AM they perform a special ceremony.
From Monte Carlo, trips into the surrounding areas include such favorite destinations as Nice, Eze and St. Paul de Vence. Driving along one of the scenic Corniche roads is in itself a highlight.
Hop on/off buses start right at the cruise terminal.
It pays to compare your cruise line shore excursions here.
Eze is a medieval village perched like an eagles nest on a narrow rocky peak overlooking the Mediterranean sea. The ancient fortified village is still crowned with the ruins of its 12th-century fortified castle (torn down in 1706), sitting on a narrow rocky peak. The castle grounds host the well-known Jardin Exotique, and from the top (429 m) you'll have an good view of the coast (it will cost you, though).
Taking the bus to Eze.
The Monaco-Monte Carlo (SNCF) railway station is a stop for many international trains. The railway is a rapid means of communication between the Principality and all the localities of the Côte d'Azur from Cannes to Menton. Trains to and from Nice run regularly and last approximately 25 minutes. The train station is nearby, ask for directions. The train rides along the coast are in itself a treat.
Designer boutiques offering elegant clothing and gorgeous jewelry are located around the Place du Casino, along rue des Moulins and at the Galerie Metropole. Some shops observe lunchtime between 12:30 p.m. and 2:00 p.m.
The local currency is the euro.
Monaco in follows the french law, but only if it benefits them.
Languages: French (official), Italian, English, Monegasque
1 Jan New Year's Day.
27 Jan Saint-Devote's Day.
1 May Labour Day.
15 Aug Assumption.
1 Nov All Saints' Day.
19 Nov Monaco National Day.
8 Dec Immaculate Conception.
25 Dec Christmas Day
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